Chapter 12

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Malawashina blinked, her violet eyes glazing over at the words the Pharaoh spoke.

There is no brother, Mala... Or any minister named Seti-nekht.

"Wh...what do you mean?" She stuttered in response, her mind becoming fuddled.

Ramses smiled apologetically. " I am the minister."

Suddenly her head began to whirr with the notion, and an uncomfortable heaviness set into the pit of her stomach. He was the minister?

She blinked again as her gaze pinned him to the limestone floor, eyes flared wide as the understanding settled in. "You lied to me?"

The use of that exact word and her tone with which she spoke took him off guard. It was true, nonetheless.

He lowered his eyes remorsefully. "I can explain, Mala."

  What her cousin had done to her was an ultimate betrayal, and though this was not quite on the same scale, it still caused her deep and harrowing anguish. Her hope for a fresh start, away from Mursili's suffocating shadow, now lay shattered and in ruins. Fighting back the tears of anger, she glared, and her fists balled white at her sides. "It is Princess Malawashina!" She snapped. "Daughter of the great General Hattusili and Lady Puduhepa, princess of Hatti! If I knew I was going to walk into another trap, I would have elected to stay in my homeland!"

Ramses' eyes widened at her words. "Another trap?" He repeated.

"Never trust an Egyptian!" She hissed in reply, turning to leave.

"Wait, Malawashina, please!"

She looked over her shoulder slightly at his remorsefulness. It was almost pitiful.

"You played me like a fool Ramses." She willed her voice not to break. "Come and seek me out after you realise what it is you have done." With those words she wrapped her chiffon shawl around her face once more and walked away, leaving him there gazing after her in an utter regretful state.   

Crestfallen, Ramses began to walk to wherever his dragging feet would take him

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Crestfallen, Ramses began to walk to wherever his dragging feet would take him. He knew very well what he had done. It had been a drawn-out, secretive and well-orchestrated affair. It had been met with quite strong opposition, especially from those closest to him, but he knew it needed to be done. Yet then, as he thought to himself whilst drifting silently through the colonnades, perhaps it had been all due to his own conceited pomp. 

Sighing inwardly, he understood very well that there was a lot he would have to do to make it up to her, especially before their ceremony of union. It was in a week's time. What could he possibly do to alleviate her hurt in such a short period?

It was not long until he could hear two familiar voices in the distance. Subconsciously his feet had led him to where he had desired to go. Yet, he had not anticipated her being there. Silently he stepped, veiling himself behind the fluttering curtains which hung from the high ceilings. The two women were not speaking in hushed tones. One, in particular, was being rather vocal. She always was...

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